Over the years, the annual world renowned Elephant Festival has become a great hit with tourists as well as the local populace of Jaipur. It is always held one day before Dhulandi (Holi). This year it will be celebrated with traditional gaiety at the world-renowned Rambagh Polo Ground in Jaipur on 26 March from 4 pm to 7 pm.
The festival will begin with the ‘Elephant Procession’ during which flawlessly groomed, rows of elephants walk around in all their finery before an enthralled audience to make this festival an amazing one. The pachyderm will move with poise in the pageant and finally participate in the spring festival of Holi. Elephants, as in the past years, will put up a variety of programs and the ground will be brought alive with musicians and dancers.
Elephant Procession will be followed by the ‘Gajshringar Exhibition’ (Elephant ornaments) competition. During this exhibition the majestic animals, lovingly painted and tastefully attired with glittering ornaments and embroidered velvets will win the hearts of the domestic and foreign tourists. The mahouts (elephant keepers) take great care to decorate the elephants painting their trunks, foreheads, and feet with floral motifs and adorning them from tusk to tail with interesting trinkets. Elephants wear anklets and make music as they walk.
The additional attraction of the festival will be Tug of War and Matka Race between Indian and foreign tourists. Finally, some lucky tourists are invited to mount the elephants and play Holi. The festival will end up with the majestic Holi fireworks. Participants dance with great vigour and the excitement rises to a crescendo.
On the day of Dhulandi (27 March) the festival of colours will be celebrated, as in the past years, at Khasa Kothi from 11 am to 1 pm. The tourists will get an opportunity to smear each other with gulal (dry colour) and will hear the traditional Holi folk songs to which they can even shake a leg.
Later, a city tour by the bus has been organized for those who would like to go around Jaipur to witness the festival in its colourful hues.
(As informed by the Principal Secretary and Commissioner, Tourism, Mr.. Rakesh Srivastava. The event is being organized by the Rajasthan Tourism, District Administration, Jaipur Municipal Corporation and Elephants Owners Development Society)